For many years I was drawn back to the yoga mat and didn’t know why. I first landed in a yoga class, I found gym and yoga gave me space. To move and sweat after hours of looking at assignments and sitting in lectures. I was the only person in the class and found my first yoga class really slow and boring to be honest! But…for some reason, I still returned to yoga classes.
While I was working in advertising agencies and in a debt collection agency, going to a yoga class at the end of the day was what I looked forward to the most. I would look at the class timetable and would be devastated if I didn’t land on the mat. I didn’t know why. But, I also didn’t question. It felt good on the mat at the end of the day. It was quiet. It was still and I could hear myself breathe in and out…and when I left the class, my inner world was happy. I slept so well.
I am now into my 3rd month of trauma sensitive yoga training and pennies are dropping all over the place. Now I know why I so looked forward to yoga class. I didn’t know on a conscious or logical level…but my body knew. My body looked forward to the movement, the stillness, the quiet and the healing. My body could rest and felt happy after class. It still feels happy after yoga practice now. 🙂
Cortisol is this incredible hormone pumping through the body during stressful periods. It is a wonderful hormone to keep people safe and alert because it activates the fight-or-flight system. However, chronic stress stimulating cortisol can overload the nervous system and this is where illness can manifest. The body has to get rid of cortisol somehow or regulate…to come back to balance.
Contemplative movements, like yoga or tai chi, help to bring the body back into balance. Instead of your mind being disconnected and ‘out there’ focusing on this, that and the other…contemplative movements brings your brain into your body. Awareness back inside to here and now helping to reset the nervous system. Balance is critical for the body and also called homeostasis.
More re: homeostatis!
- Your body can naturally regulate when you are hot. You will naturally start to sweat to cool your body and bring your temperature back down.
- Or when your body needs more water, you will feel thirsty and reach for water instinctively.
Other ways to bring your body into balance include being outdoors in nature, listening to music, singing, writing or art. You know how sometimes you hear music and you instantly feel better? Or you feel giddy and happy after dancing? This is your body resetting, healing and taking care of yourself naturally. Do more of this!! Reset your system daily.
Pic: West Beach, Loloata Island, PNG